Final Countdown - Manual
After communication at above the speed of light was discovered in the
year 2334 by the scientist Nagas Lyrac, who was born and brought up on
Mars, the human race reached out beyond the boundaries of the solar
system. In the course of the next eight years contacts were made with
seven nonhuman and three remotely humanoid races.
As communication at above the speed of light (particle) was diverted or
halted by larger concentrations of matter, two radio relay stations,
known as TerCom I and II, were set up outside Pluto's orbit (in
opposition). They pass on the radio messages they recieve using normal
radio. As messages, repeatedly failed to reach their destination, each
message is now coded, given a serial number and transmitted several
Some scientists believe that the messages are intercepted and evaluated
by hostile intelligences. They base their theory on the fact that only
97.543% ofradio interference is due to natural causes, and so 2.457%
cannot be accounted for. However, as up till now nothing pointing to the
existence of a hostile race has been discovered, this theory is now
At first, however, the contacts with other intelligent beings were
confined to an exchange of information and an extremely limited trade
with the systems within a radius of 15 light years, an it was not yet
possible to travel at a speed exceeding the speed of light.
However, a research project, which was supported by all intelligences,
bore fruit in the year 2397. On 22.08.2397 the brilliant Weganic
scientist Ragn Nietsnie succeeded in carrying out the first matter
transfer outside his solar system at above the speed of light. This meant
the way for inter-stellic trade was open, and two years later the Sol-
system was in possession of transmitter communications to all 10 known
Since 2412 it has been possible, due to an improvement in the MaTrans-
technique to undertake a transmission without a reciever. When in two
years time the enourmous Transmitter-circle "HighWay" is completed
(diameter 1.2 km), it will be possible to send whole spaceships into
other solar systems. The Vasdagh and Ghys'Syn, who already use such
transmitter equipment, have sent research ships into 146 solar systems so
As the planetary gravitational fields also badly disturbed the
transmitter traffic, the radio relay station TerCom I, which came into
operation in the year 2336, was converted into a trade center, while
TerCom II was retained for communication purposes. It follows its lonely
orbit beyond that of Pluto at a distance of 20 light hours. The permanent
crew, consisting of 238 people, is under the command of Commander Ms.
TERRA NEWSNETWORK 14.08.2437
Today the Vasdagh published the results of their 5-year investigation
into transmitter activity in the galaxy. With the aid of the radiolocator
for transmitter activity which they developed, they could prove that
during the time of observation there was no MaTrans-activity anywhere in
the galaxy which could have been caused by an unknown intelligence.
Because it will probably never be possible to realize the permanent
bridging of space at above the speed of light and no intelligent living
organism will be able to set off on an endless journey through space and
time, the supporters of the Evil-Alien-Theory, who live in permanent fear
of the appearance of a conquering fleet, have finally had the ground cut
from under their feet.
COMMANDER LAIRA TYRIK'S PERSONAL LOG, 30.07.2437 - 19:33
Today all extrasolar radio communications suddenly came to a standstill.
A transmitter consignment which arrived at the same moment exploded
inexplicably, killing 16 members of the loading crew. Scientists think
that the interference in the radio communication could also influence the
transmitter traffic, and that the atomic structure of cargo being
transported will become unstable. We have sent radio probes with messages
to all friendly solar systems asking them to cancel all MaTrans-
consignments until further notice...
Today the radiolocation discovered an asteroid which had not been
registered before and which has been given the name AST2437/07-01. It has
a diameter of about 3.8 km. It is almost perfectly spherical in shape. In
12 days and 8 hours it will pass us at a distance of 438900 km and carry
on into the solar system at a - for asteroids of this size unusually high
- speed of 30000 km/sec. It has not yet been possible to discover its
31.07.2437 - 18:59
Although AST2437/07-01 has come nearer, an exact analysis has still nor
been possible becasue the long-distance radiolocation provides no clear
results. Tommorrow a system-check will take place because the
radiolocators really ought to function perfectly at this distance...
The research station on Mercury had to be abandoned due to the high
increase in solar activity. The astrophysicist have no idea of the reason
for this change, especially since the surface temperature of our mother-
star has risen by 3.8 degrees.
Scientific teams in the whole solar system have not so far been able to
find any possible causes of the interference in all activities above the
speed of light. The whole phenomenon seems ever stranger, when one bears
in mind that transmissions of matter beyond a radius of 11 light days
still function perfectly.
01.08.2437 - 06:49
The surface temperature of the sun has continued to rise and this has
caused an expansion by 1/10000 of its circumference. The increase in
dangerous radiation has led to an emergency evacuation of the Mercury
mines. This help probably came too late for 38 miners who were admitted
to the NY Medical Center suffering from extremely severe radiation
According to our maintanance team no fault could be found in the
radiolocation system. So it is still not possible to account for the fact
that we do not recieve any clear location results from the asteroid...
01.08.2437 - 16:43
Terra Newsnetwork has just announced that Miami has been almost
completely devestated by a hurricane of incredible force and extent. The
report goes on to say that none of the approximately 345000 people who
were no longer able to reach the shelters is thought to have survived
this inferno... Meteosat 85 reported that a huge tidal wave, 64 meters
high, is heading straight for Hawaii at top speed...
According to scientists the climate of our planet seems to be getting out
of control due to the temperature increase on the sun. On the basis of
their research various astrophycisist teams have concluded that if the
temperature of the sun continues to rise at the present rate, it is
likely to explode in 12 days if the cause of the catastrophe cannot be
found and eliminated.
Because of this the solar security council has declared the system alarm
stage Alpha 2. From now on government permission is neccessary for all
private extraplanetary operations.
02.08.2437 - 02:49
On re-reading the location data about AST2437/07-01 I established that
the latter simply appeared from nowhere within the rage of our
radiolocators. We cannot help suspecting that there is a connection
between the appearance of the asteroid and the supernova threatening us.
We are going to send two robot space probes to investigate.
05.08.2437 - 16:47
The situation on Earth is deteriorating hour by hour, the natural
catastrophes are continuing. The number of victims is reported to have
reached approx. 83 million people. The space stations between Mercury and
Venus have had to be evacuated. The sun's expansion by 8.7% is even
discernable from our position.
08.08.2437 - 22:35
The radio contact with our probes was broken off when they came within
328900 km of the asteroid. One second before the break-down in
communications a sort of energy emission of an unknown kind was
registered on the surface of the asteroid. By now we doubt that this
bolide is of natural origin. We will inform our headquarters of our
09.08.2437 - 22:56
Our headquarters have notified us in friendly words that "at the moment
due to the catastrophe, there is no possibility" of "investigating our
small personal matters" and checking up on our suspicions. As the future
of our planet, the continuation of our civilization are at stake. I have
decided to act.
10.08.2437 - 09:31
(entry by deputy commander Taiska Gerran)
As the commander did not appear for duty this morning we asked our board
computer about her where abouts. According to its information the
commander was beamed off with the transmitter 06.54 after she had been to
the equipment depot. The evaluation of the destination coordinates
showed that she had transmitted herself to the asteroid.
10.08.2437 - 10:05
According to the KI GENYUS the commander's theory has been given a
probability rating of 45.8%. In case her suspicions should be proved
correct the transmitter has beamed equipment to the asteroid. This
consists of 100 mines and 20 energy cartridges for the return flight
aggregates which were distributed all over the asteroid. However, it is
not considered likely that all transported objects were re-materialized
satisfactorily. After the beaming all TerCom I's transmitters finally
10.08.2437 - 12:22
The provisions-ship which had been expected at 12:20 did not arrive. KI
GENYUS estimates with a probability rate of 97.9% that we are cut off
from every communication.
As in 12 days and 8 hours our last oxygen reserves will come to an end,
our time is running out.
1. Short summary - The A 9000 commands
CD - Change / Display of the current path
CLS - Clear screen
DIR - Display of the files of a technical device
DISABLE - Disable a device controlled by the system
ENABLE - Enable a device controlled by the system
HELP - Display of all commands
INFO - Display of own inventory
LIST - Display of all the devices controlled by the system with
information about the current state of these subsystems
SHOW - Display of a picture
STATUS - Display of the state of the major systems
SYSTEM - Display of available information about the attached system
TYPE - Display of a text
2. The commands of the A9000
The CD-command permits interchange between different "directories.
Let's just suppose that you are connected to a prospector robot called PROSP
on the airvoid planetoid Ceres and are in possession of a module called
Module 1. After looking through the data from PROSP you would like to have
access to the contents of Module 1. So the command is:
CD MODULE 1
and the response is then
CURRENT PATH MODULE 1
To get access back to the directory attched PROSP, the input is:
If the CD-command is given without the path-name *PATH*, the output will be
the name of the current path.
The A9000 display is cleared
The DIR-command shows the contents of the device called *PATH*. If no
pathname is specified, the contents of the current directory will be
The DIR-command displays for each file what kind of file it is. There are:
ABCDE.TXT - a text file (see TYPE)
ABCDE.PIC - a picture file (see SHOW)
ABCDE.PRG - a program started by input of the name
.ABCDE.TXT - a file protected by a password
The current path being SYSTEM
The DISABLE-command permits the disabling of devices which are managed
and controlled by the attached system.
DISABLE METAL DETECT 1
will make our PROSP disable its metal detector #1. If instead of the device
name *DEVICE* "ALL" is specified, all controllable subsystems will be
DISABLE ALL deprives our PROSP of all perception-sensors. Its mechanical
systems, however, remain active as they can only be controlled through
The ENABLE-command permits the initial setup of devices which are managed
and controlled by the attached system.
To prevent our PROSP from stumbling around blindly, we will first restore
ENABLE OPTOSYSTEM 2
OPTOSYSTEM 2 ENABLED
So that our PROSP can later go about its task with its senses alert, it
should also be givin back the rest of its faculties. Analog to the
disable-command this is triggered off by:
The Computerterminal is closed.
It gives some brief information about a A9000 command. If the HELP-
command is given without parameter, a list of all the available keyboard
commands will be provided.
The INFO-command supplies the user with all relevant data, like time, air
reserves or the degree of contamination.
AIR RESERVES :483 A
TIME REMAINING :4.6 hours
The LIST-command gives information on all devices controlled by the
system. In addition the current state of these subsystems is given.
OPTOSYSTEM 2 ON E/D
METALDETECT 1 OFF E
^system ^index ^state ^access mode
(E can be enabled, D can be disabled)
The SHOW-command displays as a picture information which is filed in the
system's storage in the form of bitfields. For this A9000 finds an appropriate
From the examples of DIR-command we know that our PROSP has stored a site
plan of what it has found so far. In order to see this plan the following
command is given:
SHOW SITE PLAN
The STATUS-command shows the state of all systems connected to the
system. If our PROSP was on board a spaceship, we could get information
on all board systems with this command.
The SYSTEM-command shows the exact name of a system. If we wanted to
thank our PROSP for its good work by giving it a reactor, we would, of
course, have to know which of the many PROSP robots it was.
NAME :PROSP 4812
TASK :SEARCH FOR VALUABLE METALS
POSITION :CERES, SECTOR IV
It functions like SHOW, but can only be applied to text files. The
information is automatically translated as far as it is in any way
possible. Concepts that cannot be translated are replaced by synthetic
words. But in reality there is much more behind this main A9000 command
than you will ever see. Whenever cross references or interesting details
come up, the A9000 will always pursue them as far as possible and decode
their meaning. So always watch out for the computers reports documenting
Typed by MERKWooD. Edited by PARASITE.